Three students of KJ Somaiya Engineering College have redefined the meaning of the term ‘best out of waste’ by making binding books from waste paper, selling them to their teachers and friends and donating the proceeds to a non-government organisation, PUSH, which operates in the college campus.
The trio comprising Kunjan Gala, Cheitali Thakkar and Charmi Pasad got the idea, thanks to Assistant Professor, Hetal Doshi who is also the entrepreneurship cell coordinator of the engineering college. She prodded them to come up with a product that was not only environment friendly but could also be used for the betterment of society.
Gala, Thakkar and Pasad, students of third year electronics and telecommunication, started work on this project titled Generation Going Green in September. They showcased it in October at their college festival Abhiyantriki. After receiving a good response from the college faculty and their co-students, they were enthused to pursue it seriously.
Nineteen-year-old Gala says, “Whatever profit we have earned till now we have decided to donate it to PUSH that helps needy students of our college.” Thakkar (20), elaborates, “Till date, we have made a profit of Rs 60, which we shall donate to the NGO. We don’t have a fixed target in mind about the future. But if we continue at this rate, then in our fourth year of engineering we aim to donate at least Rs 5000-10,000. This amount will help some students pay their college fees.”
Till now, the trio has made 31 binding books from waste paper, which they collected from college authorities, friends and co-students. Initially, they put plastic covers on the books but later decided to replace them with thick calendar paper covers to make it more environment friendly. While they sold the plastic cover books for Rs 10, the calender cover books were sold for Rs 5.
Pasad says, “We are hoping to get an order from the principal of the primary section of the Somaiya CBSE school that is in our campus. She has asked us to show us a sample piece. If she likes it, then we will get an order. The principal intends to gift these books to her students for Christmas.”
Professor Doshi says that this project has been a learning experience for the trio as it has honed their creative as well as business skills. “The idea was to encourage students to build a fair and sustainable business. Our principal Dr Shubha Pandit has been very supportive and open to our ideas,” says Doshi.